June 07


My House, Once – Emily Arrow’s Childhood Home Told Through Books

The THIS HOUSE, ONCE Song, inspired by the incredible book by Deborah Freedman, was one of the most emotional songs I’ve ever been tasked to write. About a month before my recent move from Los Angeles, CA to Nashville, TN, educator-extraordinaire Colby Sharp and his students tweeted me a request: “We think you should write a song about @DeborahFreedman’s THIS HOUSE, ONCE!” I happily accepted the challenge. Deborah’s stunning illustrations and color palette quickly set the tone for the very first tune I ever wrote in my new house in Nashville.


Stuart Little by E.B. White: I read Stuart Little for the first time in the winter while sitting on the floor heating vent. I could see the snow build up outside the window, and that’s how I would track how long I had been reading.


Corduroy by Don Freeman: As a kid, and still to this day, I had lots of trouble falling asleep. Too many ideas in my head! I read Corduroy in bed on nights when I couldn’t sleep. His little lost button story was so comforting somehow.


The Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish: My silly best friend (who is actually named Amelia) and I would read these together on the floor of our family room. One time, it so inspired us that we ended up cutting each other’s hair ourselves! EEP!


Frindle by Andrew Clements: I read Frindle for the first time in a dark blue bean bag chair. Every time I would move my arms to turn a page, I remember the sound of the beans rustling below me.


Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery: I read the first of a boxed set of six Anne of Green Gables books on Christmas morning. On the floor. When I was eight.


Our Town by Thornton Wilder: I read Our Town, one of my favorite books ever, while swinging in a rope hammock hanging in a tree in my front yard.


This House, Once by Deborah Freedman: This House, Once was one of the first picture books I read in my new house in Nashville, TN. It was exactly the sentiment I needed to help me adjust to my new lifestyle, city, and home.



Emily Arrow is an award-winning children’s musician who promotes literacy through music. Emily and her ukulele Bow pioneer bringing today’s best picture books to life through song by collaborating with best-selling picture book creators, artists, and educators. Based in Music City (Nashville, TN), Emily and her ukulele Bow pioneer bringing today’s best picture books to life through song. Winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, National Parenting Products Award and Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Emily performs around the country to inspire listeners to sing, read, and celebrate books.